Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis and acclaimed director Gina Prince-Bythewood of Love & Basketball fame came together to tell a remarkable story of an all-female warrior unit that fought against European invasion in the pulse-pumping movie The Woman King.
Opening on Sept. 16, 2022, The Woman King was produced by Davis and co-written by Prince-Bythewood and centers on the African kingdom of Dahomey that also battles against the Europeans’ dastardly intentions of enslavement in the 1800s.
Davis expressed amazement to Vanity Fair that she had an opportunity to be a major part in bringing such a rare story to the big screen.
“I’ve never had a role like this before. It’s transformative. And to be a producer on it, and to know that I had a hand in bringing it to fruition,” he says. “There’s always a vision you have for your career, but there are very few roles as an actress of color. Dark skin with a wide nose and big lips. I’m just gonna continue to say it. Those stories are extraordinarily limited.”
The Academy Award-winning, Emmy-winning and Tony-winning Davis said preparation for the movie was as intense as the movie itself.
“We started intensely a few months before shooting — four hours a day, five days a week. Weight training, sprinting, martial arts, and weaponry training for the machete. I like to say that I was the OG warrior,” Davis added as she laughed.
In addition to Davis, The Woman King stars Lashan Lynch John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim and Hero Fiennes Tiffin.
“The Woman King will tell one of history’s greatest forgotten stories from the real world in which we live, where an army of African warrior women staved off slavery, colonialism and inter-tribal warfare to unify a nation,” producer Cathy Schulman said, according to Vanity Fair.
Watch the preview for The Woman King: